3D printing is an advanced technology that many people in and outside of the tech world are already highly familiar with. In a nutshell, 3D printing is the process of using a 3D printer to create a computer-generated three-dimensional object. This is done by adding layer upon layer of material to an object, a process that is often referred to as additive manufacturing. As for as blockchain is concerned, it is an equally advanced yet much different type of technology. Blockchain is a system of records and transactions secured by advanced cryptography. By regulating 3D printing with blockchain it is thought that the technology would be far safer in the hands of the general public.
3D Printing’s Inherent Benefits and Risks
In the coming decades, 3D printing technology is guaranteed to revolutionize life as we know it. Anyone will be able to turn their garage into a micro-manufacturing facility. The healthcare industry will be able to produce replacement organs made out of real human tissue. Essentially, anyone will be able to create anything at any time.
With the massive freedom that 3D printing will provide humanity, an equal number of risks will present themselves. Using 3D printers to easily produce powerful weapons, bombs, counterfeit items, and other malicious objects will be one of those risks. Governments and technology experts around the world are already looking for ways to preempt the risks posed by 3D printing technology. Using blockchain as a regulating system is being looked at as the primary solution.
Ways That Blockchain Can Help Secure 3D Printing
No Guns – 3D printers around the world have already been used to create homemade guns. Using 3D printers to produce projectile weapons is a major risk posed by the technology. Thankfully, blockchain regulated 3D printing devices could be hardcoded in a manner that would make it impossible to produce any type of weapon with the device. Blockchain could also immediately alert the authorities if someone did attempt to create an unauthorized weapon with the device.
Intellectual Property Protection – 3D printing is going to make it easier than ever before to infringe upon intellectual property rights. For example, a branded product that took millions of dollars and years to develop could be easily mass-produced in someone’s garage for the cost of raw materials using a 3D printing device. It is thought that blockchain will be able to prohibit 3D printer users from infringing upon the intellectual property rights of others.
Taxation Enforcement – 3D printing technology will make it easier than ever before to produce black market goods on an industrial scale. This would prevent taxation bodies from collecting taxes owed on any underground commercial endeavors. It is thought that blockchain will be able to keep 100 percent accurate records on goods produced in order to alert government officials to underground commercial activities.
Secure 3D Bioprinting – It is not a question of if, but a question of when will 3D bioprinting be used in mass to produce replacement organs and body parts for human beings. Once this technology is used on a wide scale it will need to be secured by an ironclad system. With blockchain’s near-impenetrable cryptography-based core, it is likely to be the go-to security used for all future bioprinting technology.
Preventing Counterfeits – Advanced 3D printing technology of the future will be able to easily produce counterfeit IDs, counterfeit money, counterfeit credit cards, and any other type of counterfeit object. By using blockchain regulators on the 3D printing device and upstream at the internet provider level, it will be very difficult for home-based users to create counterfeit goods without local police being swiftly alerted.